Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Amongst the detailed woodcuts

Rev. Lanzarotte is reading the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, a popular romance from 1499 Venice.  In it he discovers the story of a dream within a dream. Like Poliphilo on his way to seduce Polia, Lanzarotte too has dreamt of  adventures with dragons, and wolves and castles. And like Poliphilo with Polia, he starts to embrace Loretta (the most popular of Madam Cosima’s young ladies). But she fades into memory, and he wakes. He is puzzled, for in the detailed woodcuts, he sees repeatedly the figure of a young Sister Missikin. A sign, he decides, as he goes to visit the ailing nun.


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